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A Prince Fights For His Crown
‘Prince Caspian’ is the fourth book of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ by C.S. Lewis, although it was second book that he wrote in the series. This book is divided into 15 chapters and it is a very gripping sequel.
I read this book after seeing ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ movie in 2005. I was looking forward to seeing ‘Prince Caspian’, the next in the film series, and I read the book before watching it.
The story is set a year after Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy’s reign in Narnia ended when they came back out of the wardrobe. They’re summoned back into Narnia by Prince Caspian with Susan’s horn.
Narnia is now under the reign of the evil King Miraz as the Telmarines now occupy the country. Caspian, with Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy’s help, fight for the battle to restore Narnia back again.
The first version of ‘Prince Caspian’ I saw was the 1989 BBC version. It was a truncated two-parter, based on the original novel. But that followed closer to the book compared to the 2008 film version.
Following the success of ‘LLW’, C.S. Lewis found he was able to revisit Narnia with the four Pevensie children. This time however, he has them called back into Narnia which takes place many years later.
The structure of ‘Prince Caspian’ is interesting. It starts off with Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy on the railway station heading back to school. Unaware how, they get called back instantly into Narnia.
They end up at the ruins of Cair Paravel and spend the night there. Next morning, they rescue a Red Dwarf named Trumpkin from two Telmarine soldiers in a boat before they have breakfast together.
Trumpkin tells the story of Prince Caspian to the four children during a flashback of four chapters in the book. This was interesting when Trumpkin tells the story or how C.S. Lewis writes it in the book.
C.S. Lewis makes it clear that he doesn’t write all in Trumpkin’s words with the four children constantly interrupting him. Lewis, as the author, writes the story of Caspain as he’d normally would.
I have heard the Focus on the Family radio version of ‘Prince Caspian’ and listened to Trumpkin telling the story of Caspian to the children. It’s different to how the film and TV versions tell the tale.
In both TV and film versions, they somewhat have the story of Prince Caspian told at the beginning and concurrently before the four children enter the story. This makes the story’s structure unusual.
A noticeable difference between the book and film versions is that all four Pevensies meet Caspian earlier in the film. This is different in the book as it is just Peter and Edmund who meet with Caspain.
Also in the book, Peter tells Caspian: “I haven’t come to take your place…but to put you into it.” This is different in the film version as Peter and Caspain are antagonistic and don’t like each other much.
There’s also an aspect of the book that is not included in both TV and film versions of the story. That is the inclusion of Bacchus and Silenus. They are characters mentioned by Tumnus the Faun in ‘LLW’.
There’s also the extended cameo appearance of Caspian’s nurse in the penultimate chapter of the book. It happens when Aslan visits her house, heals her and she is reunited with Caspian at the end.
‘Prince Caspian’ is a truly engaging sequel to ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ as a book. It was interesting to compare the book with the TV, film and radio versions of the ‘Prince Caspian’ tale.
‘Prince Caspian’ (Book) rating – 8/10
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